Report: Joe Manchin came close to calling on Biden to step down

 July 4, 2024

Many Democrats were left deeply worried about President Joe Biden's reelection prospects after watching his terrible debate with former President Donald Trump.

According to the Washington Post, one longtime senator nearly stepped in to call for Biden's resignation. 

"Full-court press" to stop Joe Manchin from denouncing Biden

The paper cited unnamed sources as saying there were widespread fears that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin "would soon break from Biden" during his Sunday morning television appearance.

While Manchin switched his party affiliation to independent earlier this spring, he served in Washington as a Democrat for nearly 14 years and continues to caucus with members of the party.

That reportedly led to a "full-court press" by senior Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), to dissuade Manchin from publicly denouncing the president's candidacy.

However, Manchin senior political adviser Jonathan Kott issued a statement to the Post which disputed any suggestion that Manchin had been pressured into remaining silent.

Poll shows just 27% of voters think Biden is mentally fit for office

"Joe Manchin talks to lots of people because he wants to get different views and political perspectives," Kott's statement was quoted as saying.

"When he has something to say, you’ll hear it directly from him, and trust me, there’s nobody that can talk him out of speaking his mind," Kotts insisted.

Nevertheless, the Post referenced a campaign to suppress dissent within the Democratic Party, with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries being said to have asked congressional candidates to avoid the issue.

Yet that approach may not be capable of withstanding public sentiment, as a CBS News poll conducted since Biden's debate just 27% of registered voters think he has the mental competence to carry out his duties.

Columnist says Manchin should replace Biden as nominee

Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat argued this week that Manchin should take Biden's place as the Democratic nominee.

In Douthat's view, nominating the relatively moderate Manchin "would be a unique signal to the country that the Democrats were willing to make a major ideological compromise."

He maintained that this "is the kind of signal that, if you are determined to win the election at all costs, you want to be sending."

Still, he acknowledged the possibility that "Democrats are just not going to turn out for someone who spent the Biden years trying to make Joe Biden’s agenda more moderate and sometimes contributing to derailing it."

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